Empowerment of Saudi women ‘holds key to future wealth’

The research conference attracted scholars and students from international organizations. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 04 May 2018
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Empowerment of Saudi women ‘holds key to future wealth’

  • Prof. Khawla Al-Kuraya: Saudi Arabia is experiencing a transformation that no other country has ever managed to pull off in such a short period of time
  • The conference included parallel sessions on law, art and design, business and entrepreneurship, and urban and social development

JEDDAH: Empowerment of Saudi Arabia’s women held the key to social and economic prosperity in the Kingdom, an international research conference has been told.

In a keynote address to the conference, Prof. Khawla Al-Kuraya, a doctor and scientist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said: “Saudi Arabia is experiencing a transformation that no other country has ever managed to pull off in such a short period of time.

“Vision 2030 is a strategic road map guiding the country toward participation in a global knowledge-based economy that engages a massive youth demographic and also empowers women.” 

Al-Kuraya was speaking on Wednesday during the conference, titled “Building the future: Vibrant society, thriving economy and happy people,” at Dar Al-Hekma University. 

Suhair Hasan Al-Qurashi, president of the university, said: “The conference highlights issues that are timely and significant for Saudi Arabia and beyond, and are particular relevant for the future generation.”

The conference included parallel sessions on law, art and design, business and entrepreneurship, and urban and social development. 

Good lawyer

Abed Elrehim Alkashif, of Egypt’s Ministry of Justice, discussed the role of judges in achieving justice.

“A bad law can be corrected by a good lawyer and judge, while a good law can be ruined by a bad lawyer and judge,” he told the conference.

Samah Alagha, an assistant professor at Dar Al-Hekma University, said: “We are happy to see an increase in the allowance of Saudi women to become lawyers, but still there are no Saudi female judges. 

“According to all the positive changes of Vision 2030, let’s hope we have a Saudi female judge soon.”

Rajaa Alqahtani, of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at King Abdul Aziz University, told Arab News: “We consider the royal decree of allowing women in Saudi Arabia to drive as a historical shift for the Saudi woman, which accordingly equals the decision of allowing females to go to schools in Saudi Arabia back in 1960.

Sustainable development

“We can see that the religious speech has decreased in the past three years, so society has became more open and can accept more freedom,” she said.

Dr. Sherin Sameh, assistant professor, architecture, at Dar Al-Hekma University, presented a paper entitled “The City of Neom: Paving the Road for the Future of Sustainable Development in Saudi Arabia.” 

She told Arab News: “Vision 2030 is showing the way toward the sustainable development goals of the Kingdom.” 

She said: “My study looks at the city of Neom and how it can become a hub for information technology and renewable energy.”


Riyadh book fair hears lecture on Bahrain culture industry

Updated 30 min 40 sec ago
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Riyadh book fair hears lecture on Bahrain culture industry

  • Professor Diaa Al-Kaabi presented a survey of all aspects of Bahraini culture, from the early 19th century until the present day
  • She also highlighted the role of prominent Saudis in the founding of major cultural institutions in Bahrain

RIYADH: Riyadh International Book Fair on Wednesday hosted Dr. Diaa Al-Kaabi, who gave a lecture on the role of culture in Bahrain, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The academic, who is a professor at the University of Bahrain, highlighted the role of prominent Saudis in the founding of major cultural institutions in Bahrain. She named Muqbel Al-Zukair, and the families of Al-Gosaibi, Al-Bassam, Al-Ajaji, Al-Mashari and others, as pioneers.
She also mentioned the cultural agreement that was signed in 1974 between the Kingdom and Bahrain as the first such agreement signed between the two Gulf states.
Al-Kaabi presented a survey of all aspects of Bahraini culture, from the early 19th century until the present day. She highlighted major trends in Bahrain’s cultural industry, and the role of societies, theaters and universities, as well as state institutions, in promoting the nation’s culture to an international audience.
She addressed the beginnings of the cultural movement under Sheikh Issa bin Ali, which she considered as the founding of the country’s cultural consciousness. 
It heralded the age of enlightenment in Bahrain, which was part of the modern Arab Renaissance starting from the early nineteenth century, she said.
Al-Kaabi concluded her lecture by stressing that culture, if nurtured, could be a pillar of economic development as it provided many job opportunities and its revenues were high. 
Bahrain is the guest of honor at the fair, which runs until March 23.
A Bahraini pavilion will host 13 cultural events including poetry nights, seminars and children’s programs over the course of the fair. In total, more than 900 global publishing houses are set to participate, with 500,000 books and publications on display, and up to a million visitors expected to attend.